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Quantum, AI and geopolitical conflict: '24 will be a big year for cyber

With big trends like quantum, generative AI and geopolitical conflict, 2024 looks set to be a big year in security, but defenders have an unparalleled opportunity to harness these trends for good, says Quorum's Federico Charosky

Everyone is talking about how artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to evolve, but I think its evolution will meet the evolution of quantum computing, and the results will be quite dramatic. Global encryption techniques are likely to become obsolete very quickly, and we will have to rethink our approach to how we share information safely, how we approach trust, privacy, and other key societal concerns. 

Identity verification is going to be turned on its head. We need more seamless technologies that enable us to know we are talking to who we think we are talking to (via all mediums). Current technology is unfit for purpose, and threats are only going to get worse with the evolution of generative AI.

Democracy will face its biggest challenge given the number of key geopolitical events taking place in 2024. We will see massive public manipulation through misinformation, disinformation, and manipulation of communications and voting procedures. 

Governments are going to accelerate into full speed by taking a much more active approach to cyber security – not only through regulation but taking an active cyber operations approach to disrupting threat actor operations. This will have a net positive effect on less sophisticated threat actors having to rethink their approach to cyber crime. 

Looking ahead to 2024 in security

  • Risk arising from insecure generative AI, an explosion in mainstream acceptance of zero-trust, and increasingly tight cyber insurance policies will all be high on the agenda in 2024, writes Forrester's Alla Valente.
  • ISACA's Steven Sim Kok Leong shares his thoughts on the coming year in cyber security, considering the impact of regulatory change, the evolving role of the CISO, and advances in innovative cyber tech.
  • PA Consulting's Rasika Somasiri looks back at a busy 12 months in the cyber security world, and highlights some key learnings from 2023.
  • Emerging technologies have brought about a new age of cyber – and we need a 360-degree collaborative approach more than ever to succeed, says Plexal's Saj Huq.

Lastly, we will see the evolution of cyber into warfare – as the multiple international conflicts develop (Israel/Lebanon, Israel/Hamas, North Korea/South Korea, Russia/Ukraine, China/Japan in the South Asia Sea) – cyber will see its potential role in these conflicts fully expanded and have its moment in the spotlight.

I think defenders will have an unparalleled opportunity to harness AI for good, faster than attackers harness it for evil. After all, fairly massive compute power is needed to run AI, and that is well controlled by supply chain issues and big super-scalers that should be able to qualify their customers. I think defenders have the biggest force multiplier the industry has seen on their hands, and I look forward to seeing how we unleash it.

Federico Charosky is founder and CEO of Quorum Cyber, an Edinburgh-based MSSP and Microsoft partner.

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